Background and study aims: Reliable and secure closure of the gastrotomy after natural-orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) remains a critical step for widespread acceptance and use of this mode of surgery.We describe a novel method for gastrotomy closure using endoscopic tissue anchors. Methods: A standard upper endoscopy and wire placement as used for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement was performed in five pigs. Prior to gastrotomy, four tissue anchors were placed in four quadrants (1 cm away from the wire). A 12-mm gastrotomy was created endoscopically using a combination of needle-knife and balloon dilation. After transgastric peritoneoscopy, the sutures were approximated using a device knotting element. One additional pair of sutures was placed after evaluation of the gastric closure. The animals underwent in vivo contrast fluoroscopy, methylene blue instillation, and bursting pressure studies for assessment of the closure site. Results: All animals studied showed complete sealing of the gastrotomy site without evidence of leak on fluoroscopic imaging or at final postmortem intragastric methylene blue instillation. Improved insufflation ability following gastrotomy was also noted using this technique, which enhanced overall visualization during the closure. Conclusion: Positioning tissue anchors prior to creating a NOTES gastrotomy was a feasible and reliable method to perform gastric closure. Follow-up survival studies will be warranted to support these preliminary findings.
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